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Does It Stay or Go? – Fixture vs. Personal Property

Being a REALTOR®, one of the questions I get asked often is: “Are the appliances included?” To answer this more in depth, we need to discuss the difference between Fixtures vs. Personal Property.  Every state has their own laws, so I am going to focus on North Carolina’s stance here.

Fixture: something that is permanently affixed to the property.  In other words, if you need a tool to remove something, it’s a fixture.

Personal Property: this basically covers everything else.

Unless otherwise stated in MLS, anything that is permanently affixed to the property WILL convey (transfer) with the sale.  That includes dishwashers, ranges/ovens/stovetops, and ATTACHED microwaves.  Refrigerators, Washing Machines and Dryer Machines are considered personal property and are not included with the sale. However, if you hire a good agent – like me ? – I may be able to assist you with negotiating them as part of the sale.

What about curtain rods? TV brackets? Shelving units in the garage? Floating shelves? Bathroom mirrors? What if your great great grandmother twice removed gave you the stunning chandelier hanging at your front entrance?


Let’s take a quiz and see how you do!

Fixture or Personal Property?
1- Refrigerator
2- Microwave sitting on the counter
3- Curtain Rods
4- Curtains
5- Attached Shelving Units
6- Smoke Detector
7- Bathroom Mirrors
8- Ring Doorbell
9- Garage Door Opener
10- Garage Door Opener Remote Controls
11- Solar Panels
12- Satellite Dishes
13- TV Brackets
14- TV screwed onto TV Bracket
15- Blinds
16- Potted Plants
17- Chandeliers
18- Light Bulbs
19- Alarm Systems
20- Floating Shelves


1- Personal Property
2- Personal Property
3- Fixture
4- Personal Property
5- Fixture
6- Fixture
7- Fixture
8- Fixture
9- Fixture
10- Fixture
11- Fixture
12- Fixture
13- Fixture
14- Fixture
15- Fixture
16- Personal Property
17- Fixture
18- Fixture
19- Fixture
20- Fixture

What if you just bought the nest thermostat or the ring doorbell and you want to keep it? Good news sellers: if something is a fixture and you don’t want it to convey with the sale, you can keep it!  Here’s what MUST happen for that to occur. Either remove it before marketing photos/showings occur or inform your agent (hopefully me) that you want to keep your fixture.

Thankfully, the North Carolina Standard Offer to Purchase and Contract form – approved by the NC Bar Association and the NC Association of REALTORS®, Inc. provides a detailed list of all fixtures that will convey with the sale and this is made part of the contract.

Comment below with how many you got right and let us know if any of these shock you.  It’s SO important to have a knowledgeable real estate agent that knows the difference between a fixture and personal property.

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